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Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation$
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Raffaella De Rosa

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570379.001.0001

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Externalist Solutions: Teleofunctional Accounts

Externalist Solutions: Teleofunctional Accounts

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 Externalist Solutions: Teleofunctional Accounts
Source:
Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation
Author(s):

Raffaella De Rosa (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570379.003.0005

This chapter discusses a second type of externalist account of Cartesian sensations – viz., a teleofunctional one – and its alleged advantage of dissolving the problem of sensory misrepresentation (since, according to this account, sensory ideas end up being representations of their correct objects, i.e., ecological properties). The chapter argues that this reading lacks textual support (since the teleological jargon of Meditation Six can be read in alternative ways); it introduces more theoretical problems than it solves for Descartes; and it does not have the advantage of solving the problem of sensory misrepresentation that it is advertised as having.

Keywords:   teleology, sensations, teleofunctional accounts, Meditation Six, sensory misrepresentation, ecological properties

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